Unboxing is the act of unpacking an eagerly awaited purchase, but unlike a regular delivery, an unboxing offers special care and attention from the brand that makes the experience memorable. Branded boxes and product packaging all play a role in crafting a curated unboxing experience, but in today’s world of omnichannel personalization, it’s about much more than just branding and aesthetics.
Creating an unforgettable unboxing experience that captures customer loyalty means uniting branded packaging with personalized engagement that evolves the e-commerce narrative from product to relationship. For years, e-retailers have sold the space within their boxes to outside advertisers, while giving up major opportunity to increase the presence and equity of their own brand. Now, with online stores popping up overnight and consumer goods manufacturers rolling out DTC brands at an accelerated pace, e-retailers need to ensure that their brand is front and center in the post-sale. An unboxing experience that features one-to-one brand communications is a powerful way to accomplish this, but the question is: How do I extend data-driven personalization to the physical medium that is the delivery box?
The Solution: Personalized Packaging Inserts
E-commerce marketers are missing major relationship building opportunity when they deliver their packages with a generic packing slip. The package slip can be used for so much more than communicating package contents. With the order providing rich insights into the shopper’s interests and spending habits, package inserts can be highly targeted, but few online sellers leverage the potential, despite the advances in open API content management technology.
Below are five ways that you can transform the static packing slip from meaningless conveyor of order detail to critical relationship marketing tool.
1. Tell Your Brand Story
If you aren’t leveraging your brand’s unboxing experience to the fullest, you’re missing out on major brand storytelling opportunity. More than 60% of consumers say they’re buyers of a brand because of shared values. Unboxing is about more than beautiful presentation—it’s about crafting your brand narrative and expressing why shoppers should choose you over the alternatives. Great brand storytelling means sharing the origins of your brand, your philosophy, future vision, what you guarantee your customers, and the social issues or causes that you support. This is an opportunity for the customer to get to know the people and mission behind the brand—to break through the autonomous veil of online and bring the authenticity and humanity of your brand to life. When the competition is fierce, you need to show off what makes your brand unique, and it’s your story and values that set your brand apart.
2. Encourage Customers to Share
Since unboxing is often the end of the transaction, this offers a great opportunity to ask customers to share their experience. Ask buyers to post a photo or video of themselves with your product that mentions your brand or uses your brand’s hashtag. Every post will expand your brand reach and your customers will appreciate that you value their opinions and want them to be a part of your brand community. You can even incentivize the post by offering a discount or entry into a contest. Capture customers’ excitement in the initial moments of interacting with your product with a call-to-action that inspires them to share. Doing so will not only generate organic content for your brand, but evidence your desire to engage in dialogue with your customers.
3. Offer Exclusive Promotions
There’s no better way to thank a customer for their purchase than by offering a discount off their next purchase. While emailing a promo code is one method of delivery, promotions delivered in a physical format are more likely to be used because they are guaranteed to be seen and serve as a tangible reminder. Inserts are also perfect for retargeting because the order tells you exactly what products the customer likes and their spending behavior. Leveraging insights like purchased SKU, order total and applied discounts, you can generate promotions that perfectly fit the interests and budget of the customer. Foster brand-to-consumer connection with personalized promotions that make customers feel individually recognized and rewarded by the brand.
4. Simplify the Returns Process
The returns process is one of the key points of friction in the online shopping experience, especially given that each online shop has a unique process. Eliminate the confusion and negativity surrounding the process by providing all of the required information, documents and labels directly within the packaging insert as a fully integrated piece. Online sellers with an analogue returns process can integrate their return slip as a perforated panel that customers can tear-off and complete. Peel-off return labels can also be integrated, whether you choose to make your packaging insert a single sheet piece or multi-panel brochure. Sellers with an online returns process can support instant mobile access by driving to a QR code that brings the customer directly to the returns portal. Demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction by making the returns process as streamlined as possible.
5. Provide Value-Add Content
Shift the dialogue from product to relationship by offering value-add content based on purchased product(s) or other profile attributes, such as location. For example, if you just bought a fancy new food processor online, you likely would benefit from content that explains how to assemble it and use the different features, as well as some recipes that showcase all of the versatile ways that you can put your food processor to work. In addition, if you are a hair care brand and know that a portion of your customers live in a region experiencing extreme humidity, you may want to include tips and tricks to reduce frizz. Go beyond product-pushing with content that positions your brand as a topic expert customers can count on for guidance.
Bringing Authenticity & Emotion to E-Commerce
Today, there are dozens if not hundreds of companies all selling a similar product that can be rated as “good” by most standards, but having a good product isn’t enough anymore. Customers want to purchase from brands they trust and that align with their values. By leveraging the empty space in your boxes as an opportunity to share your brand story and evidence your values, you can not only make your brand more tangible to the customer, but tap into one of the most powerful elements in relationship marketing: emotion.
Push past the digital screens and bring your brand to life in the physical world with 1:1 packaging inserts that make customers feel like they’re a part of your inner circle. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request information on Cierant’s ActionPack™ solution—the industry’s only all-in-one insert marketing solution to unite real-time content assembly with just-in-time production.